Tick, tick, tick. . . .

I don’t quite know where the day went. That’s what it’s like when the kids are home.

Well, first, it’s not entirely true. In the morning, we visited an orthodontist. Little J has crowded teeth, and we were hoping that today’s second opinion would echo the first opinion so that we’d just know what to do. Dr. First said pull 4 teeth and see how it goes.  Which sounded awesome to us, because we love to procrastinate. Actually, by “us” I mean Cute W and me. J thought that this was a bad idea. In fact, we walked out of the office and she told me, “I feel terrified.” It took quite a bit of coaxing to convince her that it wouldn’t feel all that different from getting a cavity filled. What, you don’t agree? Well. . . just zip it, okay? We don’t need to know.

I miss those straight baby teeth.

This morning, Dr. Second was in favor of keeping the teeth and going straight to some braces. He argued convincingly that while extraction works for some, in J’s case, the braces approach would lead to greater “aesthetic success.” This term had Cute W and I snickering immediately. Because, I’m sorry. That’s just funny. I’m already figuring that this will become a new phrase for us, like when we’re out running errands and I’ll lean over to Cute W and say, “Ouch! Aesthetic failure in aisle 5!” Which is wrong. And bad karma. But sometimes it’s difficult to hold back.

The point is, we left the office and had a five-minute conversation about just how confused we were before splitting up for the day. Cute W arrived home from the office with a print-out of approximately 70-odd pages of someone’s thesis on the timing of tooth extractions that he’d Googled . He pronounced it, “Interesting, but inconclusive.” After a swift check of the introduction and conclusion, I’ll agree only to the latter portion of that statement.

Meanwhile I’d ignored Google, except to locate, and make an appointment with, Dr. Third. Looking forward to it. Oh, wait! But the best part is that I hadn’t yet broken it to J that we’d set up a third appointment, so she found out when Cute W was chatting to his mother on speaker phone tonight, and then Grandma started talking on. . . and on. . . about pulling teeth while J’s face collapsed in much the same way that Dr. Second predicts will happen if we choose to extract her teeth. So that was a good time.

The girls were playing together nicely for quite a while this morning and early afternoon, so I was lulled into complacently believing that I could stop puttering (laundry, dishes, etc.) and do more brain-involved computer work. Unfortunately, my psychic children sensed that I had decided to blow off activity for the day, so they reported to the computer to plead for a fun outing. Or, really, any outing. By this time it was about 1:45 pm, and J had evening gymnastics, so I just looked at them, slightly stunned and saddened that my opportunity for productivity had slipped through my fingers. Seeing my slack-and-stumped face, M grouched, “Don’t you, like, run a website about fun stuff to do or something?”

Dammit. Apparently I do. But the girls didn’t realize that organized activities tend to be at 10 am or 1 pm but definitely not, say 2:30 pm, which would have worked for us. Plus we had limited time. We ended up feeding and playing with the neighbors’ pets, visiting the library, and then going for a bike ride.

The good news is that J is finally getting used to her bigger bike, which she began resisting as too scary approximately forty minutes after begging for it please-please-please and five minutes after the credit card slip was signed. So that’s progress. Beyond that, it’s difficult to point to much that was accomplished. I read some more Harry Potter to J. I cut apart M’s wrists after J duct-taped them together (in fairness, M did it to J first). M and I took a walk and briefly kept our legs perfectly synchronized, left/right, as I realized that soon I’ll be able to rest my chin comfortably on the top of her head. Some days, noticing that the kids are still here and growing is the all the accomplishment that a Mama can hope for.

Besides, there’s always tomorrow.


  1. Jen

    FWIW, we didn’t have really good dental insurance–or any–when I was a kid. So even though my teeth were seriously crowded and crooked (one on top of the other) I didn’t get braces until I was 19 and in college. I won’t lie, that kind of sucked, BUT, I had them for much MUCH less time than the kids I had known who got them too early. Those kids got them just too soon and wound up having braces all throughout middle school/high school. I don’t know how serious your daughter’s case is, but she might wind up needing braces for a long time or even worse–getting them off and then needing them again because her mouth has changed shape as a teenager…. (oh, and I think I needed around 7 teeth pulled when I got the braces. Serious overcrowding!)

  2. @Jen Yeah, I don’t know what we’ll do. . . see what Dr. Third says, too, I guess. Poor J. Now I’m wishing I could see a high school picture of you looking like a snaggle tooth. Sounds like an aesthetic fail!

  3. Michelle

    My parents were sadists who (apparently) did not think HS was going to be enough of a challenge for me and waited until my sophomore year to put me in braces, which, incidentally, also required too teeth to be pulled. From the front of my mouth. Top left, one next to my front two, and one bottom, right, next to my middle two bottom teeth. It was AWESOME.

    But, I can vouch for the fact that having them pulled did not hurt AT ALL. It was the aftermath that wasn’t much fun….socially.

  4. Unfortunately, my eyeteeth were crowded by 3 extra teeth, making me look like an extra for True Blood as a teenager. After the extraction and brace installation, they descended. However, the pain of the braces and headgear was too much — I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was taking the headgear off in my sleep from the pain. (As part of the installation of the braces, the dentist literally hammered them onto my teeth, kneeling on my lap for leverage). The coup de grace was when the dentist admitted that the braces wouldn’t work because my tongue was too long, dooming me for buck teeth (didn’t happen, BTW) and that my tongue should be surgically shortened. Bye-bye braces and crazy dentist!

  5. christine F.P.

    first of all,
    (*ONCE i get past the fact that Cute W attends these appointments…) her face wont collapse unless they are adult teeth that get pulled, Seb walked has around for 2+ yrs without his 6 front teeth. there wasnt an accident, just fell out and new ones never came. he is 10.5 and JUST getting the 4th one now.
    second, ive had both extractions (painless) and braces (painful) and i have chosen to do neither for any of my kids and so far, (knock on wood) it has worked itself out.
    its a huge turn off for me to hear ‘aesthetics’ come out of a Dr’s mouth in regards to a child. ask abt future jaw alignment, cross bite, TMJ or real dental health issues and see if the answer changes.
    i agree with Jen completly and im and on pins and needles waiting for you to reply to Deb B.

  6. @Deb So is that your vote against all dentists and orthodontists, or just a warning to avoid anyone who tries to climb into J’s lap? 😉
    @christine F.P. What made the “aesthetics” comment even more comical was that the guy was so dapper–I leaned over and said to Cute W that if he’d read the Hunger Games I’d say that the guy’s shoes were “SOoo Capitol”–but J’s teeth are nutty enough that we’ll definitely do something early, I think. And there was talk about adenoids, bite, and ease of breathing. . . that part was just less entertaining, so I blew it off in favor of the part that made us giggle. 😉

  7. I ended up having 8 teeth pulled – 4 at a time (and then wisdom teeth as an adult). The only thing I remember about it was “complaining” to get extra milkshakes. 🙂 And THEN getting braces on top of it. From 6th – 10th grade.

    Braces do seem early – her face has so much changing to do before she even becomes a teenager.

    Here’s hoping Dr. 3 agrees with at least one of the other two!!

  8. Like the others mentioned, the teeth pulling was painless but weird – the extractions registered as tickles to my nose – but I was 15. That and the one year of braces took care of the fangs. In re-reading your post, Katie: Dr. Dapper sounds like he’s up-selling to maximize his profit. I agree with the rest of the mamas: J is a bit young yet.

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